I used to love grocery shopping. Then I had kids. Enough said.

Now I am that crazy woman who wonders aimlessly up one aisle and down another, sidetracked by the slightest diversions because I honestly don’t know what I want, what I need or when I’ll have the time to actually make a meal with what I’ve eventually picked out.

I lean my beleaguered body over the handle of the shopping cart, pushing it forward as if it were holding me up and sliding my feet along, sighing to myself. Sometimes, to fake organization, I carry a piece of crumpled paper resembling a list, yet I hope inspiration will jump off the shelves and into my cart.

Guilt sends me spinning around the fruit and vegetables because I know that I should buy something good, healthy and not processed. I should make a salad. I should over-achieve and make a fruit salad.  Imagine that.

Except I know what would happen; it would get wasted. My family would be so suspicious of my culinary efforts that they’d be too afraid to eat it.

Sometimes I get hyper and think I’ll carve out time on the weekends to bake oodles of meals and stuff the freezer full of prepared dinners. Defrost. Reheat. Serve. It sounds so easy.

Okay, I know it is that easy but when do I have spare time to cook en masse, if I have a thousand other chores to do that are equally beneficial to the welfare of my family?  A day spent baking lasagna (which one child hates) or meatloaf (which the other child despises) or perhaps the meat pie that the Carpenter loves (and nobody else will eat) seems a little disheartening.

The truth is, I get no pleasure out of cooking. None. People treat this fact like I am some sort of a freak. Women especially like to use this fact as a superior one-upper on the imaginary scale of feminine competition.  Apparently, my maternal status negates that I must also be a culinary goddess. Fat chance.

People who love to cook are people who have the time , desire and talent to make it an experience. They are magical, skilled individuals, (freaks, if you will…) I love those people, I really do. I just wish they lived in my house. Jamie Oliver, your room is ready.

All I know is that I want this to grocery shopping over with. I want out of the halogen lights and aisles of possibility. I don’t want to socialize or smile because my sense of humour got left behind in the car with the reusable bags that I always forget in my trunk.

Yes, I know, a negative attitude is not a positive thing.  But I’m being honest with myself. I can easily blow through $200 of groceries and still eat out twice a week. (Somewhere a financial planner just slapped them selves on the forehead).

Am I the only person out there who cannot find the time or the coordinate meals between the end of the workday and the kids sports? Do other people eat dinner at 9 pm on a school night?

I realize I am fortunate enough to have this dilemma. When money is tight and it’s beans ‘n toast night, I am grateful just the same because I know I am lucky. I have food.

Apparently, I also have the shopping cart with the sticky, squeaky wheel.  Grocery karma. Looks like it’s beans’n toast again.